Aims: To identify the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men with diabetes, and to compare the perceptions of ED and the treatment-seeking behaviour of these men with men with ED without diabetes.
Methods: Phase I of this multinational study involved 27,839 men who were questioned about a number of men's health issues including ED, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions (i.e. hypertension, high cholesterol and angina). Epidemiological associations between these conditions were explored. Phase II involved 2912 men with self-reported ED, aged 20-75 years. Participants completed questionnaires concerning their ED, efforts to seek treatment for their ED, and potential influences that might affect treatment-seeking behaviour. Comparison of these responses was made between men with ED and diabetes and men with ED without diabetes.
Results: There was a clear association between self-reported ED and diabetes, hypertension, angina and high cholesterol. Men with diabetes were more likely to consider their ED to be severe and permanent and to speak to a physician or a nurse about their ED, compared with men without diabetes. Sildenafil use was similar in both groups, but men with diabetes were more likely to have discontinued use, mainly because of the lack of treatment efficacy.
Conclusion: Men with diabetes were more likely to consider their ED to be severe and permanent, compared with men without diabetes. Furthermore, men with diabetes were more likely to discontinue sildenafil therapy, primarily because of poor efficacy. These findings suggest a need for alternative treatments for ED, especially in men with diabetes.